Loving yourself

In keeping with being real and sharing my journey with Chronic Pain, it’s important to share the tough moments too. While it’s essential to keep moving and keep blood flowing into the joints at all times, it’s also important to listen when your body needs rest.

Last night was one of my challenging nights with very little sleep and a lot of excruciating pain. Living with this disease has taught me that from one minute to the next my pain can move from manageable to excruciating. It’s the thing that’s most challenging with this disease and what few people understand.

So today is about being gentle and kind to myself. On days like today I find it important to take time out and rest my body. I also feel it’s important to get support on these days. I have booked a session with my massage therapist and am going to my Pilates teacher for some recovery stretching and muscle support.

Walking this journey requires constant focus and commitment. It’s so important to be mindful of what your body and mind needs at all times. So today I ask that as you start your day ask yourself if you are doing the best possible thing for your body and mind. If not simply stop and work out what it is you need and do that.

Keep Moving

Over the last 10 years as I have walked on the beautiful Red Road, I have learnt more and more how important it is to be mindful of your language and what you put out to the universe.

Now we all know that my “language” at times can be rather colorful but I am not taking about that language. I am talking more about Neuro Linguistic Programming. This is the positive or negative way we talk about ourselves and our surroundings and things. It’s the language we use on a daily basis applying to how we focus on our day, week, month or year ahead.

Having learnt how to be mindful of the language I use when I set a goal, I found myself laughing out loud this morning as I got up at 4:45 am to get ready to paddle.

You see when I met with my coach last week and he asked me if I was going to be happy to paddle no matter what the weather had in mind, I courageously said, I shall paddle in wind, rain and sunshine!

Of course the universe found this highly amusing and is choosing to test my statement to the fullest. Yesterday’s paddle brought along 15 knot wind and this mornings paddle brought some rain and a little bit of wind. Fortunately the rain mainly came down while we stretching after our paddle, but I must say I did chuckle.

I however did get up and out there on the water and did some sprints, some technique practice from yesterday’s lesson and a few buoy turns! I know that the only way I shall improve in this sport is to train in all conditions and put in the time in the time on the water!

Once again none of this would be possible without the support of my fellow Wahine Caroline. Thanks maaitjie for another great paddle!

Push through

This morning was one of those mornings when I had to have a stern talking to myself and push myself to get up and get moving.

My back and arm have been challenging me more than usual of late and following a fun race on Saturday I was definitely feeling it today. I however have committed myself to a stringent training program over the next few months as I am determined to get my racing ranking up.

While I know it sounds odd to some people, I operate better when I have something to work towards. I find it’s important to get my head right in order to get on top of the constant pain. If I give myself something to work towards it takes my focus away from the pain and pushes it into something so much more powerful and uplifting.

So this morning I got up and headed to the vlei for a 1 hour warm up paddle with my legend maaitjie Caroline who is always there to support me. She gets up and joins me at 5:30 to help me keep moving. And let me tell you if it hadn’t been for her on Saturday keeping at my side I would never have made that race in that wind after a 5 week absence.

I then met my coach Tyron for our first one on one session. I had told him last week that I was gonna paddle with him regardless of wind or rain as the only way I shall get stronger and faster is if I train in all conditions. As if to test my commitment the wind decided to challenge me during our session and let me tell you I feel like a superhero in my own world for pushing through the 15knot wind and training to my best ability.

It really is such a cool feeling when you just put your head down and focus and make it through. So today as you begin your week ahead, ask yourself what it is that you want to achieve, set a goal and then go and do it!

Embrace Life

The last few months since returning from my epic trip to the States have inspired me to embrace life every day in every way with complete gratitude.

Understanding myself and focusing on my spiritual, emotional and physical goals has been my main driving factor.

What I find refreshing is that when you confront your greatest challenges and deal with your most in depth self love issues you become more aware of what does and does not serve you.

Over the last 3 months I have made a few decisions that have meant I have moved away from people and things that no longer bring joy to my world. It’s so refreshing when you make a decision to let go of the things that do not serve you.

In this day and age our lives are busy and can be cluttered with bullshit and stuff and we lose sight of what is actually important. Living with chronic pain has allowed me to get a better perspective of what I value and where I chose to invest my energy.

I choose to embrace life in every way every day and from every angle possible. I choose to look at people I meet from a place of love and understanding.

I choose to be conscious and aware that things are not always what they seem to be on the surface and that it’s important to take the time to listen and see people for who they are and not who I believe them to be.

My teachings have taught me the art of reflection. They have taught me to look at myself first when something comes up in front of me that makes me uncomfortable or angry.

I know this sounds weird and a lot of people don’t get it but if something is presenting itself to you it’s often something within you that needs healing and understanding.

So all I ask is that when you step into your day embrace it consciously and from a place of love. It’s amazing how it helps to make your journey so much more rewarding.